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Re: WCAG 2.0 and other national/international accessibilitystandards


From: Chagnon | PubCom
Date: Nov 4, 2013 2:58PM

Here in the United States, our laws and contracts use a tactic called
"include by reference."
This technique appends that law, such as Section 508 or F.A.R. for federal
contracting requirements, to the existing document without including it

In chapter one of the latest draft of Section 508 standards (dated 2011),
section "E102 Referenced Standards" cites WCAG in E102.7 W3C.

In Chapter 2, section "E205 Electronic Content" has a few more references to

This method of inclusion by reference works quite well. In my Federal
contracts, for example, each includes F.A.R. by reference (Federal
Acquisition Regulation) and it's my responsibility as a contractor to review
the current F.A.R. and perform to its requirements, even if the F.A.R. is
revised during my contract period.

So it keeps everything up to date.

RE: accessibility, I think having a country's accessibility law reference an
international standard like WCAG is very efficient and beneficial. With
globalization of our economies, commerce, politics, and information, this
practice certainly helps keep us all "harmonized."

It also helps keep the standards objective and non-political, and minimizes
interference by special interests. Living "inside the Washington Beltway," I
have greater trust in the W3C to do the right thing rather than the
Congress and White House.

An excellent example of international harmonization are the individual
"Sailing Directions" published by most countries. Set up by treaties and
agreements over the past 150 years, these international guides specify how
each country will describe and publish the specific information needed for
commercial, international marine navigation: clearance of bridges and
overhead structures, depth of harbors, etc. This harmonization and
coordination was a boon to international trade. I know that there is an
international committee that oversees the standards. In the US, our sailing
directions are produced by NOAA and are called "Coast Pilot."

However, one concern I have with the U.S. Access Board's 2011 draft for
Section 508 is that it specifically includes by reference "WCAG 2.0".

I think there's a problem with specifying "WCAG 2.0" rather than just "the
latest version of WCAG." Example: if we're in mid-contract and WCAG 3.0 is
released, I'd like to have the later standards automatically take effect
rather than waiting years - maybe even longer! - to officially adopt version

With the way Washington DC is functioning the last few years (or not
functioning, depending upon your political stripes), we might have to wait a
decade to formally adopt an updated standard, even one as benign as

I'm just saying ...

-Bevi Chagnon
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www.PubCom.com - Trainers, Consultants, Designers, Developers.
Print, Web, Acrobat, XML, eBooks, and U.S. Federal Section 508
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-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Julius Charles
Sent: Monday, November 04, 2013 3:22 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: [WebAIM] WCAG 2.0 and other national/international accessibility

Hi, everyone.

My goal is to compare WCAG 2.0 with other national/international
accessibility standards: those of the US, Australia, and the EU.

I am finding that, in the case of most countries, they basically have an
accessibility standard, but, these standards more or less draw from WCAG
2.0. so technically, although they have a specific name for their
accessibility standards, the standards refer to WCAG 2.0 more or less.

Your thoughts please?

Resources I found:


EU Commission

Thanks very much.

Julius Charles Serrano
Accessibility Specialist
Catalyst IT Ltd
Phone: +64 (4) 803-2436